Training.   Posted by Talistryn.Group: 0
 GM, 1 post
 Captain of the Guard
 Royal Weaponmaster
Tue 7 Nov 2017
at 23:46
She danced away from him, spinning gracefully away in a series of elaborate pirouettes and small hops, her plasma blade humming with each sweep away.  She knew she was trading ground for time, but her opponent was larger and less agile than she was, but had a much longer reach than she did.  She knew she had to use her speed to her advantage.

She was brought up short by the warning hum of the incoming strike, timed perfectly as her back was turned. She felt the burning pain as the blade scored its way across the small of her back, over her kidneys.  She screamed and fell as her legs gave way under her, rolling to her back to face her suddenly victorious attacker.

She smiled up at him as he reached a hand down to help her to feet, the pain in her backside fading.

"You've been watching too many old kung fu vids, Highness.  Never spend more energy on a move than needed, and never turn away from an opponent if you have any choice."  Captain Talistryn's voice was calm, slightly scolding.  "You know better than that."  He taps her backside again with the practice blade, sending a shock of painful-but-harmless energy through the receptors in her skin and muscles.

"Sorry, Captain.  I thought it was efficient and the spinning blade would make you keep your distance."

Her teacher shakes his head, deactivating his training sword and stowing it in a nearby rack.  He was average height, with chestnut-blonde hair.  He'd let it grow out a little bit and it made a nice, neat ponytail at the back of his head. The stubble of several days without shaving didn't hurt his features, nor did the cybernetic eye, glowing softly in the left socket, next to his natural, lambent green eye.  He was muscular, but toned and lithe, rather than heavily built, and he carried himself with an easy, deceptive grace.

Princess Aillithe turns off her practice sword and puts it away as well.  Her whole body ached from the hits she'd taken. She knew, somehow, that her teacher was taking it easy on her.  She also knew he'd never admit it.  Something about knowing there was always someone better.  She wasn't sure she believed it.

"When does the ship arrive, Captain? I'm eager to be home again and see my parents."

"Soon, highness.  For now, stretch and then meditate.  We have time."  He shrugs on the usual black jacket he wore aboard stations when travelling with her. It was old and worn and shiny-gray at the elbows, speaking to long hours and much use.

She sighed and sat on the floor, crossing her legs and closing her eyes.  She'd never gotten the point of this, but she would do it anyway.  She began counting her breaths, focusing on the in-and-out of her diaphragm and the motion of her ribs beneath her clothes.  She hated stations like this.  Only enough space for a couple of beds and the common-room for practicing and everything else.  She hated the cramped spaces and the simplicity of things.  She was 15 and a princess.  She should have suitors and castles and great, huge ships to travel in, not this freighter-jumping that Talistryn insisted on.  She was certain that he picked the scummiest, slowest, smallest ships he could find on purpose.  They'd never yet travelled aboard a ship suited to her station.

"Keep counting, Princess.  If you lose count, just start again."  She growled at him and his mind-reading.

"Yes, Captain."

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:45, Wed 18 July 2018.

 player, 1 post
Wed 8 Nov 2017
at 21:13
Moving three hundred pounds packed on to a seven foot frame was tricky. For a woman of five feet who looked like a good breeze could knock you over it was nearly impossible.

"Come on Oz! We're docking soon!"

An arm larger than she was snaked out and hurled her onto the bed with him. One lavender eye peeked through snarled lavender locks. She would have squealed in laughter if he hadn't knocked the breath from her. Instead she just shot him a wry grin.

"Out of bed, beast. Posk needs you to triple check the engine. Said something about a sensor."

With a growl he finally emerged from the blankets as she began ransacking his room.

"Yeah yeah, always a sensor. Or a scrubber. Or some other trifle Posk thinks can't wait. What are you looking for?"

She poked her head out from under the bed. He hadn't even seen her go under.

"My jacket! I know I left it here last night."

Oz sighed and lifted the bed. He had seen her like this many times. Passengers made her nervous but they made their runs much easier. They were less likely to be boarded when they had legitimate business to present. He picked her up like a child, set her on her feet and put his hands on her shoulders.

"Breathe, Ren. We'll be fine once we're loaded and on our way."

He picked a beat up brown jacket from his chair and handed it to her, ruffling her short black hair. She had been lucky enough to inherit their mother's hair and enough blue in her eyes to pass for human. Although they both had the pale skin and light sensitivity of their father, one would never guess they were related.

"Now, Captain" he stated firmly as he swatted her behind, "I'll check the engine while you do.... whatever it is you do."

He could hear her grumbling to herself as she left the room. He went to put in his lenses and shave his head.
 GM, 2 posts
 Captain of the Guard
 Royal Weaponmaster
Thu 9 Nov 2017
at 01:15
The Princess fidgeted near her small travel bag.  Typical of Talistryn to limit how much she could take along. Not a suitable gown or evening dress in the whole bloody kit.  She sighed as they watched the station traffic. One case, "essentials" only. Aillithe rolled her eyes as she remembered what Talistryn considered "essential".  No makeup, no luxuries.  Nothing suitable for a Princess travelling the galaxy.

"Is it here yet, Captain?  Please tell me you booked passage on a real ship, this time?  No more garbage scows or junk sellers? Please?  I'm not sure I can look at another of those pig-eyed  Salvagers again. Eugh!"

"Hush!" Talistryn scowls at her.  He had been a friend of her father for a long time, and he would keep her safe.  He also wished she would pay attention to what he was trying to teach her about the universe.  He picked the worst-looking vessels he could find, as they were usually happy to have paying passengers.  They were usually good people, trying to get by in a galaxy that was really bigger than it knew what to do with itself.

He accepted that she was 15 and had been heavily sheltered by parents who were both too protective and too present.  Royalty, he figured.  He wondered sometimes where the old soldier he knew hid inside the man her father had become.

"But, captain!  I'm a princess! I need to be travelling in first class transports!  This is embarrassing!"

"Shush, child. It's nothing of the kind. If you'd pay closer attention, you'd learn things you might never have dreamed.  Even about the Salvagers."

He hoists his pair of gear boxes with ease, each one a large, metallic case.  They held his weapons, armor he wasn't wearing and the repair kit, and the training swords.  The soft canvas duffel draped over his shoulder held everything else. The essentials only.  He preferred to pack light.  Maybe the princess would see the bonus one day.

"Come on. Our ship is about to dock."  He nods at a small vessel outside the viewport, maneuvering in to dock.

Aillithe sighed as she saw yet another dirty, frumpy, slow old freighter.  She stuck her tongue out at her escort's back while she picked up her hard case and duffel.

This message was last edited by the GM at 01:32, Thu 09 Nov 2017.

 player, 2 posts
Thu 9 Nov 2017
at 01:46
Posk docked the Artemis with ease, as always. Osthen unloaded what little cargo they had while Mehren stepped onto the platform. She dressed in shades of brown, all well worn but comfortable. A gun belt settled on her hips with two pistols at the ready. Just another station with the run-of-the-mill business being done.

As Mehren spied the pair she was sure were her passengers she was approached by a rotund man and two goons. She plastered a disarming smile on her face.

"Mister Geck! So glad you found us again! I assume you have your cargo all ready to load?"

The slovenly Geck took some time to run his beady eyes over her before motioning to his men to bring the cargo.

"Mehren, sweet little Mehren. One of these days yer luck will run out. I just hope it chases you right to me."

She smiled even more sweetly and leaned close.

"You should be praying to every god you know that it never happens. Remember our last little.... rendezvous? How is your leg?"

She pulled back as he paled and nodded.

"Yeah yeah, here's my half. The rest on delivery."

Geck passed her a pouch and hastily left with his men. Mehren nodded to the two with baggage.

"Let's get you in and settled. Don't want to be here longer than I have to."
 GM, 3 posts
 Captain of the Guard
 Royal Weaponmaster
Thu 9 Nov 2017
at 02:20
Talistryn's face breaks into a crooked smile as the freighter captain waves them over.

"Of course. Thank you for making space for us on such short notice."  He sets down the larger of his two hard cases and sticks a hand into one of his pockets. The jacket shifts aside, revealing the armored baldric with the plasma-sword hanging from it.  The large pistol on the other side stuck out the bottom of the jacket anyway.  His hand comes out of the pocket a moment later with a credit chit.

"Here you are. Payment in full, in advance, as requested." His voice had a soft, easy-to-listen to quality. It was baritone, but it had no gravel in it at all to abrade the ears. And a hint of a soft, lilting accent that matched the easy grace of his movements.

"And a little extra for the short notice."

He picks up his case after Ren takes the credit chit from him.  He nods to his young, blonde charge who is scowling at the ship and the disreputable mess of people who had just picked up their cargo.

"I'm Talistryn and this is Aillithe.  Thanks again for your flexibility, Captain."

Automatically, she nods at the introduction, more for politeness than anything else.  "Yeah...Hi. Thanks for the berth." She shrugs her shoulder to adjust her duffel on her shoulder.

Aillithe scowled again.  She was a full head taller than the captain of this horrible little freighter, and, she was quite certain, many times as pretty.  She hated that Talistryn treated everyone so well, even when they were obviously beneath even him.  He had been a soldier, she knew, but still.  Her father seemed to like him well enough.  She could hear the respect in the word 'captain' when Talistryn used it, like it meant something to him.

She grumbled inwardly and tried to smile as Talistryn continued to chat with the freighter captain.

"If you'll lead the way, Captain, we'll head aboard and get out of your hair as much as possible."
 player, 3 posts
Thu 9 Nov 2017
at 19:59
Mehren always did her best to stay out of people's minds. She didn't need to be telepathic to feel the waves of contempt rolling off of the girl. A long tirade about respect was on the tip of her tongue as Osthen laid a massive hand on her shoulder. It calmed her instantly. She smiled up at the big man, his head now wrapped in black cloth and his eyes a warm brown. Her focus went to the man.

"Of course. We always have room. Follow us please."

She lead them onto the ship through the cargo bay. Ren was all cool professionalism, her voice full of authority.

"This is where we store the cargo. Except for entering and leaving the ship it is off limits."

They climbed a set of metal stairs and went through a door. The corridor led them through the engine compartment on a catwalk.

"Engines are also off limits. It upsets Oz if he has to clean little girls out of the gears."

Oz nodded solemnly at Aillithe. "It does."

While Ren's voice was a little low and throaty, Oz had a rich bass that matched his outward appearance.

A hatch finally led them into the living area of the ship. Although shabby it was obviously a home to the crew. It was as warm and inviting as it could possibly be.

"At the front there is the cockpit, also off limit. Crew quarters are marked on the doors here to the right, and on the left are passenger quarters. Kitchen there, wash areas over there and this center bit is where we eat and play games. Pick any rooms you like, we have four so I'm sure you can make it work."

She walked over to a knotted rope that led up to a hammock. The little nook around it was filled with books and other possessions.

"This is where I think. Only disturb me here if it's an emergency."

At that moment a lanky teenage boy opened the hatch to the cockpit.

"Cap, incoming message. You'll want to see this."

Even with messy brown hair and unkempt clothes the kid was obviously destined to be a heart breaker. Once he finally got out of the awkward years, that is.

"On my way, Posk. If you fine folks need anything else just ask Oz."

With that she took off for the cockpit and Oz offered a silly but graceful bow.
 GM, 4 posts
 Captain of the Guard
 Royal Weaponmaster
Thu 9 Nov 2017
at 23:56
Aillithe follows behind Talistryn, suddenly wary of this crew.  She'd seen the glare the captain had given her, and was pretty sure Talistryn had too.  Maybe he wouldn't care, though she could never tell with him.  As they went through the ship, she realised it was, in fact, the smallest one they'd travelled in yet.  She manages to keep the frown from her lips, but she knows it shows in her eyes.

Talistryn picks out the smallest of the 4 rooms and sets his gear and duffle on the bed.  He had seen the glare the Captain gave the princess, and he had a pretty good idea of why.  Aillithe had been getting worse about her tantrums, and worse about her treatment of people generally.  He points to the next one for Aillithe to stow her gear while he locks his pistol back in the hardcase. On a ship this small, a gun like that would be more harm than good.

She's settling her duffle on the bed when the light dims as Talistryn stands in the doorway. He doesn't enter, but he looms there a moment, his cybernetic eye glowing softly, dimly illuminating bits of one side of his face and the very definite scowl thereupon.

"Aillithe. That's enough!  I thought, perhaps, that you could learn this lesson by watching and experiencing. I see now that is not true. I expect better of you than this." Talistryn's voice is a harsh, shipboard whisper, at least sparing her a public scolding.  "These are good people and deserve better from you than this!  You're confined to quarters until mealtime.  I want you to spend time thinking about what 'nobility' really means, and how you come by it." He takes a ring off his right middle finger, her father's signet ring, a symbol of her father's continued trust in her protector. "Your father knew it, and I thought he'd taught you.  I'll tell you this to get you started: it doesn't come from the crown or the title, Aillithe."  He steps back and the door hisses closed.  He tucks the signet into his pants pocket. It had been helpful on the station, but here, it wouldn't make much difference.  He had never been comfortable with the thing anyway.

He keeps half-an-ear on things as he heads back to his small room.  He tucks the hardcases against the wall opposite the bed so he can stretch out a little bit and read on a small tablet he pulls out of his duffle.  He leaves the door open.  Hopefully Aillithe would finally start to think about why he kept taking her on freighters like this.  It was an important set of things she needed to know.  He knew she was 15 and spoiled, and introspection didn't come naturally to her. A trait she shared with her mother, sadly.

He settles into the bed and his book, keeping half an ear on the goings on on the ship.  Part of it was old habits, but also because he wanted to make sure Aillithe was both safe, and sticking to her punishment.
 player, 4 posts
Fri 10 Nov 2017
at 00:18
"NO!" Ren yelled as she slammed a fist into the wall. A slight, nearly indiscernable shudder went through the ship.

"She knows we can't make that meeting! Not wih passengers on board!"

As the captain growls and throws a few things Posk crouches in a corner yelling for Oz. The big man comes running.

"Easy Ren, whatever she wants we can make it work."

He dodges a few breakables before grabbing her around the waist.

"Get some air Posk. Tell our guests that we'll be a few minutes late taking off."

Posk runs out as Oz sets Ren down. She struggles a bit as she releases a string of foul language. Oz fixes her with a stare forcing her to share his calm. Finally her breathing returns to normal and she no longer looks ready to kill someone.

"Semira wants the delivery a month early. We would have to leave now and risk the passengers. Not to mention that a detour that big might catch someone's eye and get us searched. But if we don't, she maybe pays half of what she promised and sets a nice bounty on our heads."

Frustration hums through her and she grits her teeth to keep her voice down. Oz sighs and sits in the other seat.

"No choice then. We explain a minor detour, get things done quick and quiet. A little luck and things are easy."

"Luck has never been our friend, Oz."

Meanwhile a nervous Posk has found Talistryn to explain the slight delay.

"All apologies, sir. Shouldn't be long before the Cap's..... uh... ready."
 GM, 5 posts
 Captain of the Guard
 Royal Weaponmaster
Fri 10 Nov 2017
at 05:04
It takes a moment before Talistryn realises the boy is speaking to him.  He lowers the tablet from in front of his face and looks the boy over.  The dim light of the small room casts more shadow than light, so there is an eerie half-lit quality to his face as he looks up.

"Is everything all right?  I thought I heard shouting, but it's not really my business." He sits up and looks the pilot over a bit. He was obviously a competent pilot. The docking maneuvers had been performed flawlessly.  Not something most freighter pilots would go for.  Usually they had just enough pilot to get from A to B reliably. He was glad to see a young pilot doing so well.

"If I can help, just ask.  We're not in a hurry to be anywhere in particular. The girl may not quite get it yet, but the travelling is the point of the exercise.  You can let the Captain know that we understand that her livelihood must come first, so if she needs to go elsewhere first, that's fine with us if she is still willing to have us aboard."

He began to suspect, more strongly than he had at the beginning, that the business wasn't all aboveboard.  That wasn't a surprise. Most of the galaxy's independent freighters dabbled in moving vague-and-uncertain goods for vaguer and more uncertain clientele.  He wasn't one to judge.  Certainly this wasn't a slaver ship, which eased most of the worries he would have had about his current position. People needed to live, after all, and for that they needed money.

"Are you the pilot?" His voice is still gentle and genuine.  In some ways, his gentle manner contrasted with the cybernetic eye and the rough-and-tumble look about him, with the worn jacket and well-maintained, well-used boots, pants worn a little shiny at the knees.

"You did a very creditable job docking the vessel. You should be proud.  I've seen military ships that didn't dock that smoothly."
 player, 5 posts
Fri 10 Nov 2017
at 10:24
Posk ducks his head a bit once Talistryn starts speaking. As far as he's come he still diverts his eyes. He keeps his hands loose at his sides and hunches slightly.

"Yes, sir, everything's fine. Cap's just gets grumpy when her plans get changed. We probably have to add a few days to the trip."

At the mention of the girl, a slight flush creeps into his cheeks. He couldn't help but notice how pretty she was. Then he's asked about being a pilot. His entire body changes. He stands up straight and his face lights up with a smile.

"Yes, sir! I love flying the Artemis! She may not look like much but she's better than those P...." he stops himself and looks terrified for a minute, then continues more calmly that before. "She's the best ship out there sir. Ren.. I mean the Captain.. has a lot more to teach me but she says I'm a good pilot."

"You are, Posk, one of the best."

Ren appears at the door. She steps in looking ashamed as she wraps her arms around Posk in a warm hug.

"I'm sorry kid. I shouldn't have yelled like that."

She steps back and looks up at him.

"Now head on back, we've got to take off."

Posk nods and leaves the room. She turns her attention to the man on the bunk.

"I'm sorry to say this but one of my deliveries needs to made earlier than I had hoped. We'll have to add a few days to the trip."
 GM, 6 posts
 Captain of the Guard
 Royal Weaponmaster
Sat 11 Nov 2017
at 00:30
Talistryn sets his tablet aside and nods at the ship captain.  Posk seemed like a good-hearted but nervous kid.  No doubt he was more confident when flying the ship. He'd seen that before, too, many times.

"Of course, Captain.  It's your ship and your livelihood.  You must do what you think is best.  We are happy to take a few extra days if needed.  We are not headed anywhere in particular."  He bites the inside of his left cheek as he ponders a moment.

"I need to apologise for Aillithe.  This trip is her father's idea, to get her out into the galaxy and seeing things that should be seen.  Try to get her to understand something of how the world works.  She's young and headstrong.  No excuse, but perhaps it explains her a little. I'll keep a closer eye on her.  You deserve her respect."

He knew that while Aillithe would need apologise for her own behaviour, he felt that he owed one too for not cutting the disrespect off earlier.

"Please let us know if we can help with anything while we're here.  I know we paid, but I hate to feel like a free-loader while everyone around me works."  He chuckles ruefuly, shaking his head and looking at her feet a moment. The motion shakes his hair loose over his shoulders, slightly wavy when not in the ponytail. Hints that he might clean up pretty well.

"Old habits, I'm afraid. Hard to sit idle in a barracks."
 player, 6 posts
Sat 11 Nov 2017
at 01:07
Ren crosses her arms and leans against the wall. He may not be exactly as he seems but he had been as honest as any person she ever dealt with. Between being genuine and easy on the eyes she was satisfied that this trip wouldn't be a complete disaster.

"Listen, I get it. She's a spoiled kid who has never had a rough day in her life. You don't need to apologize for anything. But some day someone will tip her off of that pedestal and she better pray it doesn't kill her."

There is no anger or rebuke in her tone. Only world-weary honesty as she calls it how she sees it. And her eyes miss very little.

"Besides, I was a little quick on reaction myself. I'm wound pretty tight most days. I'm sure we'll be fine. As far as helping out feel free to pitch in anywhere. In fact it might not hurt to hand the girl over to Oz for a day. He has a real way with people."

She couldn't begin to count the number of times and ways he had helped her over the years. Even Posk warmed to him.

"So how did a military lifer end up a personal bodyguard?"
 GM, 7 posts
 Captain of the Guard
 Royal Weaponmaster
Sat 11 Nov 2017
at 01:49
"It was a more natural transition than you might expect at first, really." Talistryn smiles a little, slightly ruefully, but cheerfully nevertheless.

"I'd served with her father during some...unpleasantness.  He's a good fellow. A little blind past the end of his nose, but he means well and is willing to put in the effort to make up some of the difference.  He wasn't a good soldier, however.  He knew it, but family politics meant he had to serve, even if he was a disgrace to his uniform."

Talistryn thought a few moments.  The war hadn't been the worst thing he'd seen, but he hoped he never had to deal with one again.  His left eyelids twitch a little bit around his cybernetic eye in remembered pain before he continues.

"I was eventually promoted away from the unit he was assigned to.  Additional training, cybernetic and genetic augmentation.  Seemed like a good idea at the time.  Got a new eye to replace the damaged one while I was there.  Her father remembered me. Something about saving his life." Talistryn shrugged. "I told him I was just doing what needed done, but he wouldn't hear it."  He pulls the signet ring out of the pocket, where it suddenly felt heavy and awkward. "He'd been promoted too, after the war.  Right up the ranks.  Made me Captain of his Personal Guard and Royal Weaponmaster.  Seemed to think I was the best swordsman he'd ever seen."

Talistryn is clearly uneasy with the titles and the rationale behind them.  He was a soldier. He did what needed doing and to the best of his ability.  Good, better, best weren't really things he concerned himself with.  Other people said stuff, and he knew enough about politics to know that most of it, especially if it was compliments, was blowing smoke and currying favour.

"So, here we are. Taking daddy's little Princess on a freighter tour of the Galaxy. And trying to teach her to fight.  That part seems to be going okay.  It's the thinking that she struggles with."
 player, 7 posts
Sat 11 Nov 2017
at 02:09
"It's a nice eye. Makes you look dangerous."

Ren offers a half smile.

"Quite a story though. Sounds like you could use a break. We can all help keep an eye on her here. She can't really get into much trouble. Let go of the leash and just act like a guy on a flight full of scoundrels. Besides, I'm sure there are more than a few things she can learn from us."

Talistryn was sweet, smart and tough. She almost felt bad for him. His sense of duty was going to weigh him down too much if he let it.

"Once Posk gets this beast going we'll work on a meal. We usually have some kind of game going on after and drinks. Hard stuff, doesn't taste great but it does the job. Maybe we can beat each other up later. Either way, get your nose out of that book and try to have some fun."

She left the room and headed out into the common area.
 GM, 8 posts
 Captain of the Guard
 Royal Weaponmaster
Sat 11 Nov 2017
at 14:33
Talistryn takes a deep breath and follows out into the common area.  He'd known the ship was really too small to keep to himself.  He hated that he felt separated by his job and his title.  Even his skills sometimes made him a pariah, so he tried to hide them, when he could.  Someday, perhaps, he would stop caring who knew what he was capable of. Someday it would just be another part of who he was.  But everything he had, his station, his wealth. Everything had come from those skills.  He also felt a little hypocritical hanging on to any of it and then moralising to the princess about how she should be behaving.

He shrugs it off as he crosses the threshold into the common area.  He spends a moment getting his bearings again. The ship was a good size for the crew.  The cargo section made the map of the ship in his head seem a little pear-shaped, so much bigger than the rest of the ship.

Artemis is what Posk had called it.  It felt right, but he couldn't quite explain how or why just yet.  It suited her captain, perhaps, more than the ship.  Perhaps it would become clearer after a few days.

"Where's the galley, Captain?  I know I'm just an old soldier, but I know my way around a ship's galley.  I can see about getting food started while you deal with the important stuff for getting underway."
 player, 8 posts
Sat 11 Nov 2017
at 15:19
Ren laughs a little.

"Relax, Tali. We call it a kitchen here. And any man that can cook and looks like you has room on my ship any time. This way."

She leads him through the main room where Oz is tinkering with a few minor projects. He has managed to cover an entire counter with electrical flotsam and is leaning in close to examine them. Ren stops by him and leans down with him.

"This looks messy and fun. I'll stop back once the chef is comfortable."

"Ooooh, we got a chef now, do we? Good. I'm tired of feeding everyone."

They both laugh and Ren presses a light kiss on his cheek.

"I'm tired of eating what you call food."

She barely escapes a half hearted swat as she continues on through a side door behind the counter. The Artemis is obviously far more than just a ship to it's crew. It's their labor of love and their home. Even in the spotless kitchen anyone can see it.

"Here it is. We should have a little of everything. Just take it easy on the meat, there's only enough there for one meal a day until we get where we're going. We have several protein subs around here too."

She slips on to a stool in the corner and waves her arm.

"Your kingdom for the evening, m'lord. Oh wait!"

She hops down and scurries over to one of the counters, climbs it and reaches into a cabinet above a cooling unit. She retrieves some yellow piece of cloth and jumps down. With a flourish it unfurls to reveal a very feminine apron.

"For you."

She winks and offers that crooked half smile again.

This message was last edited by the player at 15:20, Sat 11 Nov 2017.

 GM, 9 posts
 Captain of the Guard
 Royal Weaponmaster
Sun 12 Nov 2017
at 16:06
He laughs softly at the apron, then shrugs and folds it over, tying it around his waist.

"I humbly accept this robe-of-office." He smiles warmly.  "I promise to rule with an iron fist and greatly-improved ration cubes." He pauses a moment, his forehead furrowing in concern. "There is hot sauce here someplace, right?"  Talistryn shrugs a little as he casually explores a few cabinets. Doubtless they'd be better equipped than most military ships he'd been on for food.  Sparing the meat was a sensible idea, and he knew a few ways to make the protein substitutes mimic meat pretty well.  They were a little work, but worth it, he found.

He digs up a towel and settles it over his left shoulder as he continues his kitchen-related recon.

"Are you sure Oz will be able to handle Aillithe?  I don't want to impose."
 player, 9 posts
Sun 12 Nov 2017
at 19:57
"There better be some left! Oz got a great deal on a case of Circalian sauce but Posk puts it on everything."

Ren can't help but admire the man's... technique. She couldn't figure him out though. There had to be a reason he thought so little of himself. It took everything she had not to pry his brain open and explore. Not that it was an option. She could hear Oz quietly in her mind. Not worth it, kid.

"If Oz can handle me, he can handle her. She can't intimidate him, she can't shame him and if she gets to be too much trouble he can hang her upside down by her ankles until she passes out. It works. I can tell you from experience."

She chuckled a little.

"Speaking of Oz, I said I'd be back. His fingers are a little too big for some of the parts. I'll talk to him about it."
 GM, 10 posts
 Captain of the Guard
 Royal Weaponmaster
Tue 14 Nov 2017
at 04:40
Talistryn nods as Mehren goes off to help Oz with his mess-o-electronics.  He adjusts the baldric to keep the plasma-sabre out of his way while he's cooking. Near to hand, but out of the immediate path of what he's doing.  He found a few pots and a baking dish and starts to work.

The spice supplies are raided, carefully examined, and accidentally re-organised in the process as he determines what's still good, what peculiar alien things they've picked up that might be workable, and what stuff has probably passed its expiry, hidden away in the back someplace.

That done, he starts working on a noodle soup dish he'd found on a tour of duty on a strange jungle-world.  Couldn't really remember much about that posting except the soup.  He picks a couple of the protein substitutes, rather than just sticking with one and blends them very carefully, looking like an alchemist rather than a cook. If he got the proportions and the blending just right, he could make a decent taste-alike to one of the jungle fishballs that always ended up in the soup.

He mixes and blends the protein with a little water and some breadcrumbs as a binder before settling the shaped balls in the pot of water to simmer and congeal while he made the stock and the soup.  Those were easier with the preserved ingredients available, and the fresh vegetables would make a big difference.  Fake meat went better with real greenery.

"And just a hint of the spicy stuff." He murmurs as he digs up the half-empty bottle of Circalian sauce.  It would go a long way, this half-bottle.  And he only needed a little bit to round out the flavours of the soup.

"Gimme a slow burn..."
 player, 10 posts
Tue 14 Nov 2017
at 21:32
Mehren leaves him to his work and makes her way back out to Oz.

"Down to business. But first..."

After making sure they're alone she winks at Oz and nods. Music spills from speakers all over the ship. Ren knows that she's submitting everyone to what Oz calls her horrible taste, but she doesn't care.

"I just don't get your obsession with this..... stuff."

Ren settles into the space she makes on the counter and begins digging into the parts. Her hands begin working of their own volition, assembling pieces with little thought or concentration.

"This stuff is Metallica's Black Album, and it helps me work. You know that. Besides, we need to chat. I need you to work with the brat. If I had to guess I'd say that Daddy is very important and that makes everyone treat her with kid gloves. I think a little of your attention would go a long way. Besides, she'll be hard to hide if she won't listen to anyone."

Oz nods as he takes what smaller bit she's put together and begins putting them together.

"So pretend she's you and hang her by her feet a couple times?"

He laughs. Ren was a handful once upon a time. Oz had managed to get her to focus and see beyond her own nose. He took pride in the fact that he had helped her become the woman she was.

"You're right. If Semira gets a look at her we'll have more trouble than we need. One condition. You keep your distance from him."

He nods toward the kitchen. Amazing smells were starting to move through the ducts.

"You remember what happened last time."

Ren sighs and frowns. It wasn't something she was likely to ever forget.

"Deal, I guess. I can't be completely cold, he's a guest and a nice guy. But I get it."

This message was lightly edited by the player at 21:34, Tue 14 Nov 2017.

 GM, 11 posts
 Captain of the Guard
 Royal Weaponmaster
Wed 15 Nov 2017
at 22:49
The ship lurches as Talistryn puts the now fully cooked imitation fish balls in the oven in the baking dish.  The stock was coming along well, simmering gently and melding in the pot. The air had grown warm and soft with steam from the soup, and fragrant with the smells of herbs and garlic.  The fake fish balls, while not having a smell anything like their real fish exemplars, had a lovely scent all their own.  He was pretty happy with what he'd managed for his first meal in a strange kitchen. It was good to know he hadn't lost his touch.

He debates dessert for a moment, before deciding that he'd better stick with what he'd done thus far. There wasn't really enough time to do a decent dessert anyway.  The soup would be ready just in time for Posk to enjoy it as the ship settled into cruising away from the station.  Good timing, he thought.

Talistryn hadn't really figured out the crew, or the Captain yet.  They seemed normal enough, but he also couldn't quite shake the feeling that they were hiding something.  And not just the likely smuggling.  It felt like it was something else.  He wasn't going to pry, though.  They deserved what little privacy he could give them while he was here.  And they didn't seem like a threat to the Princess, so it could safely remain a mystery.

He wipes his hands on the frilly yellow apron before he digs up a bowl of fresh fruit. Scurvy didn't just affect ancient sailors, after all.  He drags the bowl to the center of the table, spending a moment or two to make the table a little neater before food.  Then he heads back to the kitchen to check on his fish balls.  He debates knocking on Aillithe's door for a moment to let her know there would be food soon, but he decides against it for now.  She'd train extra hard, and if Oz was willing, she'd spend some time helping him around the ship, too.  It had been a long time since he'd forced her to really work at the duels.  She was improving, but he had come to the conclusion that she didn't really want to be any good at it.  He saw her mother's influence there.  There was some of her father's fire there, but mostly she seemed like her mother's daughter. He might be able to stoke what fire there was and retrieve her from the spoiled, useless aristocrat her mother wanted her to be.

He checks the fake fish once more and then continues with the cleanup.  He'd made relatively few dishes out of things, but it was both easier to work in a clean kitchen, and he hated making a mess in any event.

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:53, Wed 15 Nov 2017.

 player, 11 posts
Wed 15 Nov 2017
at 23:21
Ren and Oz were finished with the work and cleaning up when Posk comes in.

"We're good to go for a few hours, Cap. Looks like we should be there in a week."

Ren nods as she wipes her hands on a cloth. Oz reaches out and ruffles Posk's hair.

"You keep flying like that, kid, and you'll be able to get a real job soon."

Ren kicks Oz in the shin. He overplays the injury, hopping around and howling.

"Don't tell him things like that! He'll want a raise or something."

Oz overdoes it a bit too much, loses his balance and hits the ground. Soon they're all laughing so hard tears are streaming from their eyes. Once everyone is calm, Oz nods at the kitchen.

"I'll go check on dinner while you two wash up."

He gets to his feet while they grumble like a couple of kids. He's pretty sure he hears the both say something like "yes dad". He's still grinning when he ducks through the door to the kitchen.

"Smells good in here. You keep cooking like that and cleaning things up and the Captain won't ever let you leave."

He leans against a counter.

"The ship's in auto-pilot so we're ready when you are."

This message was last edited by the player at 23:23, Wed 15 Nov 2017.

 GM, 12 posts
 Captain of the Guard
 Royal Weaponmaster
Wed 15 Nov 2017
at 23:45
"Ah! Your timing is good. Here. Take this."  Talistryn hands a handful of bowls to the towering Oz.  He smiles and opens the oven, a burst of steam and the sound of sizzling meat.  He pulls the towel off his shoulder and uses it to pull the baking dish filled with fish out of the oven.

"I hope she lets me stick around.  At least until we get where we're going. I've spent time walking in space.  Doesn't agree with me, I've found.  Takes a long time get anyplace and it's a little chilly." Talistryn smiles disarmingly at Oz, his green eye twinkling with an unexpected charm, as he gives the pot of soup and noodles once last stir for good measure before mixing the browned protein into the soup and stirring it in as well.

"I think we're ready for dinner. You take those, please," he points at the bowls in Oz's large hand. "And I'll bring the actual dinner."

He'd have to let Aillithe know that dinner was ready, but that was easily done.  He figured they'd know he hadn't used any real meat, but he never could tell. Some folks hadn't been able to tell at first that he'd faked the fishbits.  He looked forward to seeing what they thought about it. Talistryn always looked forward to finding out what people thought about his cooking.  It might also give him some insight into the crew.  Manners maketh men, as it was said.  He wished Aillithe had learned that lesson, too.

"Glad we're underway?"
 player, 12 posts
Thu 16 Nov 2017
at 00:03
Oz smirks as he does as he's asked.

"Ren hasn't put anyone out an airlock in at least a month."

The aromas make his mouth water as he helps arrange things on the table. As he begins setting out plates and utensils he sizes Talistryn up. He seems like a decent and reasonable man. It was nice to have a passenger that wasn't a complete waste of oxygen around.

"I'll be happier after our detour is over. Otherwise this should be a nice, quiet trip. Speaking of the detour, when we get there your girl is gonna have to keep out of sight. She could catch the wrong eye and it might cause problems."

Oz had always been straight to the point. He felt it made things much simpler.

"Oh, and just so I can say I told ya, if you should somehow cause problems for Ren, she won't be the one puttin you out an air lock."

He flashed his own disarming smile. It was one that any predator would be proud of.
 GM, 13 posts
 Captain of the Guard
 Royal Weaponmaster
Thu 16 Nov 2017
at 03:25
Talistryn sets the soup on the table, near the fruit bowl in the middle of the table.  He turns the lights down a little two, as Oz works on the settings.  He spends a moment looking Oz over.  The sensors in his cybernetic eye pick up odd things, but he shrugs them off for now as he and the larger man work on getting things ready.

"I appreciate both warnings." Talistryn doesn't acknowledge the threat more than that, even in his body language.  His tone was bland and cold, but otherwise seemed within the normal range for what Oz knew of him.

"I'll keep her out of sight while you're meeting with clients. I assumed that was part of the bargain for passage." He pauses as he takes off the apron, letting the plasma sabre fall back to its natural place at his side. It clacks against the table as he leans over to wipe a bit of spilled soup.  He doesn't add that anyone who thought to take Aillithe would have to do it over his dead body.  And, if the past had been any indication, several dozen of their own as well.

"I think we're ready for dinner. Or, whatever meal this would be. Sorry." He's suddenly back from the cold, bland soldier doing his job. "I didn't check to see where your night-cycle settings were. This could be breakfast for all I know."
 player, 13 posts
Thu 16 Nov 2017
at 19:50
"Meal time is meal time. We don't worry much about what we have when."

Oz shrugs and finishes things up.

"You fetch yours and I'll fetch mine."

Oz walks out of the kitchen and heads for the washroom.

"Food's getting cold, let's eat."

There are whoops of joy as two smaller bodies flash by him, nearly knocking him off balance. Most days he watches Ren carry the weight of the universe on her shoulders but today isn't one of them. They both know how to take what joy they can where they can. So he watches her fondly for a minute before following behind. As they get to the table Ren leans in and hugs him around the waist.

"It's a good day, Oz."

"It's a great day! Look at this food!"

Posk looks at the table in admiration. He reaches out to the fruit bowl but snatches his hand back when Ren slaps it.

"We sit and wait. We may not have passengers very often but we will not behave like animals when we do."

She looks at both men sternly and they all seat themselves to wait.
 GM, 14 posts
 Captain of the Guard
 Royal Weaponmaster
Thu 16 Nov 2017
at 23:21
Talistryn knocks on Aillithe's door as he unlocks it.  It opens a moment later to reveal Aillithe, looking slightly chagrined.

"Food's ready.  We'll talk more about your attitude after that.  For now, be polite at least, if you can't bring yourself to be friendly."

"Sorry, Talistryn."  She seems contrite, her blue eyes a little moister than usual.

"We'll see.  Sorry isn't a thing you say, Aillithe. It's the things you do."  He pauses a moment and readjusts his baldric. "You'll still need to say it, of course, but no-one will believe you if you don't correct what you did wrong in the first place."  He looks her over.  She'd been meditating. And she'd apparently punched some things if the reddened knuckles were any indication. Maybe she'd actually started to think, rather than just act.  Time would tell.

"Let's go eat. I suspect they're waiting on us."

"Sorry." She brushes a lock of stray hair back behind her ear as she follows her protector. He'd spoken to her like that before, but she felt this time was somehow different. She wasn't sure how or why, but she suspected that he was running out of patience.  Surely that was his problem, though?  She was the princess and he was just the captain of her father's guards.  Then why was she so uneasy this time.  Why did it matter so much that he was that displeased with her?

She stands beside the table as Talistryn takes a seat, smiling warmly at the crew.

"Sorry for the delay, everyone."

Aillithe takes a deep breath and looks at Mehren.

"I'm sorry I was rude when we came aboard, Captain." She tries to put a little of the tone that Talistryn had used, but she wasn't sure it worked.  She suddenly wanted to crawl back into the tiny bunk and vanish.  The handsome pilot didn't help matters. Maybe a bit skinny, but he seemed nice.  She feels her face warming as he looks at her.  "I'll try to make it right."

She takes her seat as well, not wanting to meet anyone's gaze, least of all Mehren's or Posk's.
 player, 14 posts
Fri 17 Nov 2017
at 20:37
Mehren fixes Aillithe with a stern gaze. Her tone is also stern but not harsh.

"You are forgiven this time, but don't let it happen again. As for making it up to me, during the mornings you will assist Oz. Afternoons you'll be with Posk at I at the helm. Evenings you will train. Not with your swordmaster though. You will train with me."

She nods as though that settles it. She finally relaxes and smiles.

"And while it's just us on the ship you can both call me Ren. Anywhere else it's Captain. Now dig in."

Everyone takes care to make sure Talistryn and Aillithe get food first, then Posk while Ren and Oz take fairly small portions for themselves. The three crew members look as though they've found Nirvana and never want to leave.

"Oz, you're fired. Tali, you never get to leave this kitchen. Ever."

Oz does his best to look mortified and does a terrible job.
 GM, 15 posts
 Captain of the Guard
 Royal Weaponmaster
Fri 17 Nov 2017
at 23:37
He watches Aillithe as she takes food, then he takes his own. She keeps her eyes downcast, only nodding and offering a weak "Yes, ma'am" when Talistryn nods his approval of the training  idea.  Fighting the same opponent only made one's skill rigid and stale, and it was a good habit to avoid making early whenever possible.  Training with Mehren would do a good job of that. While Talistryn was certain that the captain was a very formidable opponent, he highly doubted they came at things from the same perspectives or tactics.

He looked forward to testing both the captain and Oz himself.  It would be an interesting challenge.

"I like the idea of her working with Oz and training with you, 'Ren.  It won't do to have her skills go stale.  And a new opponent will certainly help her improve." He looks pointedly at her. "If she pays careful attention."

He smiles at their reaction to the food.  He found he was very glad to be useful for something other than killing.  It was a rare enough sensation that he savours the satisfaction for a few minutes while they eat.

"I'm glad you enjoy it.  And I'm happy to keep cooking as long as we're aboard.  Especially since you're helping me with my other job while we're here."
 GM, 16 posts
 Captain of the Guard
 Royal Weaponmaster
Mon 27 Nov 2017
at 01:45
Dinner goes quickly, with Talistryn fitting in well and easily with the crew as a whole.  Aillithe makes a spirited but abortive attempt to engage Posk, resulting only in both of them blushing and falling silent as they both retreat back behind their eyelashes to stare at each other, blushing and mumbling their way through the rest of the meal.

Talistryn clears the table while the crew munch contentedly on the fresh fruit he'd placed on the table earlier. He would try for dessert a different day when he had more time to plan it out. Better no dessert than a rushed on.  Once the dishes are going, he walks back to the common room and cracks his knuckles loudly.

"Aillithe, go put on your armour and grab your hardcase. You've work to do yet before you sleep."  He turns to the Captain. "Is there space in the cargo bay for some training, 'Ren? I can have her do other exercises if we need to remain clear of the bay, though."

Now that he's cooked and he's talking about training again, he seems to have gained some confidence and faith in his presence again. He's less reserved and there is a twinkle of good-natured mischief in his eye, though his movements are no less graceful, if perhaps a trifle faster.  And still he seems to move silently across the deck, somehow, despite his boots and the metal floor.

This message was last edited by the GM at 01:52, Mon 27 Nov 2017.

 player, 15 posts
Thu 30 Nov 2017
at 10:03
Oz and Ren shared some amused glances during dinner. It seemed that they would need to teach Posk a thing or two about talking to girls. Otherwise everything was pleasant and bland. Those were the evenings the crew liked best.

While Talistryn was cleaning Ren was busy as well. When he returns her arms are loaded with bottles and cards.

"Just how many of my rules do you intend to talk me out of today?"

She chuckles a little as she starts heading for the common area.

"The bay is off limits. I'll keep to that one at least. Now you can train if you like, but we aim to play. I'd guess you might find that more to your liking, but it's up to you."

She trundles off with her load with Posk hot on her heels. Oz stops by Talistryn on his way and grins.

"A few cards shy of a deck she might be, but the woman has good advice."

He pats him on the shoulder and heads through.
 GM, 17 posts
 Captain of the Guard
 Royal Weaponmaster
Tue 5 Dec 2017
at 00:15
Aillithe stops as Ren returns with the games, looking at Talistryn and hoping he takes the captain's advice. For once. She wasn't sure she was in the mood to train anyway. It had been a rough day for her.  She blushes as her eyes cross Posk again.

Talistryn considers a moment.

"Perhaps you're right.  It wouldn't do to overtrain, I suppose." He shrugs and nods to Aillithe. "You lucked out this time." He gestures for her to head toward the common area after Posk and 'Ren.  The pair follows Oz through into the common room.

"So, what's the game?"

Aillithe finds a spot at the table and starts looking at bottles, trying to avoid looking at Posk.
 player, 16 posts
Thu 25 Jan 2018
at 20:03
The various decks of cards are dropped on the main table while the bottles are arranged along a little bar cart nearby. Ren begins artfully mixing some very colorful cocktails.

"Well, we mix it up. Sometimes we play old Earth games like poker or gin, sometimes we play games we've learned at little out-of-the-way places. If you've got a particular favorite, name it and we can play it. Call it guest's choice."

Her eyes never leave what she's doing with the glasses and soon they are ready. Posk has settled himself near Aillithe but not too close. Oz is sitting opposite the two. That leave two opposing seats for Ren and Talistryn.

Ren begins setting drinks in front of people. When she announces the teenagers' drinks to be virgin Posk scowls at her while his face flushes red. Ren merely snickers as she sits, saving the last glass for herself.

Taking a sip she grins at Talistryn.

"So what'll it be, soldier?"
 GM, 18 posts
 Captain of the Guard
 Royal Weaponmaster
Fri 26 Jan 2018
at 00:03
Aillithe manages to not to giggle at Posk's blushing scowl, but her grin is harder to hide.

Before Talistryn can get a word out, Aillithe's face lights up and her blue eyes go wide as she almost shouts "Poker!"  She giggles a little at Talistryn's non-plussed expression and shrugs at him.

Talistryn shakes his head a little as he picks up his amazing technicolour cocktail, examining the swirling colours for a few moments before taking a long drink.  When he opens his eyes again, the little red light in his cybernetic pupil is dark.

"If you want to play poker, we certainly can." He sets the drink down. "I'll even turn off the cybernetics, to make sure it's fair." His mouth twists into a wry, mischeivous grin, and the corners of his eyes crinkle slighly as the smile lightens his expression.

"Ha!" Aillithe grins in victory. "Normally he won't let me play poker.  But I've played before, so I bet I can beat him."  She turns to 'Ren.  "Is that okay?"
 player, 17 posts
Fri 26 Jan 2018
at 12:02
To everyone's shock, Posk is the one that replies after a laugh.

"Are you kidding? It's Cap's favorite! One time we were at a little station outside the Talikaan nebula..."

He's cut short by Ren clearing her throat and shaking her head, looking a little more serious than usual. It's territory well known for brutal attacks. Only certain types went there and Ren didn't need the guests thinking she was some murderous criminal.

Oz nudges her but smiles at Aillithe.

"Point being that she's the one to beat."

Ren calms down and smiles a little as she starts shuffling and dealing like a pro.

"Let's see how the first few hands go."
 GM, 19 posts
 Captain of the Guard
 Royal Weaponmaster
Sat 27 Jan 2018
at 16:29
Talistryn's expression doesn't change much when Posk pipes up.  If he noticed the comment about the Talikaan nebula, he doesn't react at all.  He had figured that 'Ren and Oz would be the players to beat.  They spent time dealing with businessmen of questionable legality, so a good poker face would be essential to what they did.

He glances at the cards as they're dealt, lifting them up enough to see them, but not bothering to sort them.  His face remains a mask of pleasant mischief as he puts his ante chips in.

Aillithe gathers up her cards with an enthusiasm, fanning them out in front of her face, just below her eyes as she drops her ante into the pot.  The smile itself is hidden by the cards, but it reaches her eyes, which light up as she glances over her hand.

"Talikaan..." She murmurs thoughfully to herself.
 player, 18 posts
Sat 7 Apr 2018
at 09:52
Antes are made and cards are exchanged. Ren sees that Aillithe's eyes are easy to read.

"Be careful with your face, kid. It will show the whole table your hand if you let it run wild." She grins at her. "Not a bad lesson for life, either."

Oz nods in agreement.

"Most interactions are more about expression and body language than what you actually say. The more you keep to yourself the less others know, and that always give you an advantage."

Posk's brows furrow in thought before putting his two cents in.

"It's also power. The less you give someone, the less power they have over you."

He's almost sad as he says it. It's obvious his thoughts are in the past. Ren rest one hand on his shoulder as Oz drops a chip in the pot.

"Ten to open."
 GM, 20 posts
 Captain of the Guard
 Royal Weaponmaster
Wed 18 Jul 2018
at 22:40
Aillithe, to everyone's surprise, only matches Oz's bet, rather than raising to the skies.  The light in her eyes hasn't dimmed, though.  She sets her cards down as play moves on from her to Talistryn.

The old soldier ponders a moment, glancing around the table once more.   He fiddles with his chips a moment but keeps to a conservative play and doesn't raise either.

"It all depends on what information you think they already have, I suppose.  Some folks learn things you don't tell 'em.  Sometimes, telling them something can send them in the wrong direction and hide what they shouldn't know."

He smiles into the drink as play moves on and he takes a long drink.